Ice Cream Devils

Just returned to Chiang Mai after a week exploring the hills around Kengtung, in the Shan State of Myanmar. Fascinating people, food and markets, quite different from those in Thailand (even though the Thais and Shans share the same ethnic heritage). I promise, more on that later. But first: remember my iberry infatuation? I’m psyched…Continue readingIce Cream Devils

Day of Thanks, Day of Mourning

Grilling Thai chicken at The Prem Organic Cooking Academy On this day of Thanksgiving, we wake to bulbils singing in the trees and news of dozens dead in Mumbai. Thousands remain stranded in Bangkok, as we await word of friends and colleagues scheduled to arrive from North America, South America and the Middle East. Life…Continue readingDay of Thanks, Day of Mourning

My Month of Learning

It’s over. Graduation night has come and gone, as have our lovely students. By now, they are sitting down to bowls of mohinga and pho, padek and prahok. I miss them. But really, it’s just the beginning of what I hope to be life-long friendships. We spent a lot of time together—a LOT of time…Continue readingMy Month of Learning

Galettes, Here and There

Forgive me for the lack of accent marks in this post. I’ve had a Chiang Mai day here in Thailand; lots of little frustrations and worries, and a complete incapability of figuring out how to type this up in proper French! But I want to take you back to the streets of Paris nonetheless…. It’s…Continue readingGalettes, Here and There

Pushing the Pok Pok Cart

Back in January, I had the good fortune to meet a couple of fellow food hounds who happened to be passing through Chiang Mai as I was there. Chef and cookbook author Susan Loomis, on a research trip for her latest tasty project, introduced me to Andy Ricker, owner of Portland’s Pok Pok. We chatted…Continue readingPushing the Pok Pok Cart

Busy in the Kitchen(s)

I’m pimping my work—but that’s fair game, no? A rather substantial effort went into this month’s issue of Gourmet, and the results are now in print. Several weeks last fall and early this year had me pounding, sweating and stirring in the kitchens of five Southeast Asian cooking schools. Take a peek at the magazine…Continue readingBusy in the Kitchen(s)

Laap of the North

As long as attention is focused on Chiang Mai’s distinctive flavors, how about a recipe for northern Thai laap? You know this dish, right? It’s one of my most favorite of favorites. I usually go for a more Lao-style version (minus the buffalo parts), with bounties of fresh herbs, tangy citrus and crunchy toasted rice…Continue readingLaap of the North

The Secret to Chiang Mai Spice

Well, it’s not really a secret considering millions of Thais cook with this Northern Thai Chile Powder and eat it every day. But it is an exceptional concoction, found only in northern markets. Thai travelers take it home to Bangkok and points between (or beyond). Try to make a northern chicken soup or a Chiang…Continue readingThe Secret to Chiang Mai Spice

Street Food Angst

It happens so often. We begin a great meal on the street. In this case, a whole spicy fried fish topped with lime, chili, cilantro and onion, cooked in a blazing display. On the side, we order fried green vegetable in oyster sauce with loads of garlic slivers. A couple of beers, two plates of…Continue readingStreet Food Angst

King of the Kitchen

The framed sepia-toned photo on the right is a well-known sight in Thailand. It depicts a sarong-clad Chulalongkorn bent over a wok. It’s said the cherished King (a.k.a. King Rama V, 1868-1910) loved a good picnic and enjoyed cooking for friends. It’s also said he would travel incognito, mixing with the locals without their knowledge,…Continue readingKing of the Kitchen